The Pulse: Which upsets will go down in Week 6?


Welcome to The Pulse, the place to find out what the sports world is thinking. Every day on ESPN.com, SportsNation registers its opinion on a wide range of topics by casting votes and offering opinions. We'll collect the daily highlights and create a running file throughout the week to measure The Pulse of SportsNation on a wide variety of issues. Check this page every day for an update of what the 'Nation is saying.

Friday's Big Question

How will Week 6 in the NFL play out?

SportsNation is picking against Julius Peppers and the Panthers.
One week removed from a near-perfect week of predictions in the NFL, SportsNation didn't pick a single upset in Week 6.

In fact, there were only three games in which SportsNation's selection appeared on fewer than 65 percent of the picks sheets. The 'Nation went with Michael Vick and the Falcons over Eli Manning and the Giants. And they don't quite believe in the Rams enough to take them at home against the defending NFC champs.

68% Pittsburgh will beat Kansas City
66% Buffalo will beat Detroit
63% Atlanta will beat the Giants
62% Seattle will beat St. Louis
60% Baltimore will beat Carolina

Here is what the experts from Scouts, Inc. think about these big games:

Kansas City at Pittsburgh
Matt Williamson: KC has a lot of issues if you ask me. They killed a terrible SF team, but they will struggle to stop the Steelers' running game, run the ball themselves and make plays in the passing game. I have not been a believer in KC all season and their OL is a far cry from what it once was.

Buffalo at Detroit
When are the Lions going to win a game?
John (Northfield)

Dean Dalton: John, your Lions are literally hurting. With injuries decimating the offensive line, this team could struggle, but I think this might be the week Detroit rallies and gets a win over visiting Buffalo...They need the playmaker Roy Williams to have a chance for that to happen.

N.Y. Giants at Atlanta
Jeremy Green: The Giants have a shot, but I am going with Atlanta. The Giants have fallen behind quickly in their last two road games. If that were to happen, they would be in big trouble vs. this Atlanta run offense, which can control the ball and the clock.

Seattle at St. Louis
The Rams are going to be put in their place on Sunday. Their DBs are awful and we are going to exploit that weakness with Branch, Jackson, Burleson and D.J. Hackett. Hackett is little known but he lit up training camp and he can play. Also, Stevens is back so my prediction is that the Lams...err, I mean Rams will get picked on pretty bad. Final Score, 38-17. What are your thoughts?
Jeremiah (La Jolla, CA)

Rodd Newhouse: I like what the Rams have done thus far this season and have stood on the table for beleiving in them. I am not saying the Rams have arrived as the front-runners for the NFC West tile, but I do like thir chances IF their DBs are healthy. Tye Hill is still very raw and will struggle against the Hawks WRs. I think the Rams are overmatched in this area, and may be in for a long day. Your score could be close.

Thursday's Big Questions

1. What will happen on the college gridiron?
2. What else is going on in SportsNation?

SportsNation isn't sure about the Gators this week.
College football fans have a chance to ease in to another week of gridiron action with Thursday's showdown between Virginia Tech and Boston College. SportsNation voters think the Hokies can defend their spot in the top 25, but it's a close call.

A divided electorate is also the case for the week's biggest game, when Auburn and Florida square off in an SEC showdown on Saturday night. The Gators claimed the No. 2 spot in the polls this week, but it appears a slim majority of voters think an angry Auburn team, coming off a loss against Arkansas last week, will knock Chris Leak, Tim Tebow and the Gators from the ranks of the unbeaten.

A loss for Florida could severely damage its hopes for a national title, and voters don't expect any of the other top contenders to struggle much this weekend.

52% No. 11 Auburn will beat No. 2 Florida

89% No. 1 Ohio State will beat Michigan State
87% No. 3 USC will beat Arizona State
78% No. 4 Michigan will beat Penn State
54% No. 22 Virginia Tech will beat Boston College

Tough call. If Auburn hadn't lost, I would say Florida. Now, I'm not so sure. I'm pulling for Florida though.
Aaron (Chapel Hill, N.C.)

For some reason, I'm still not completely sold on Florida. I think I'll take Auburn.
Pete (New York)

I hate that Auburn lost last week, but I think Florida gets is done. They look like the most complete team in the SEC to me.
Sarge (Overland Park, Kan.)

Auburn lost to Arkansas and almost lost South Carolina. They're not looking to good.
Luke (Myrtle Beach, S.C.)

I have to go against Skip Bayless, as my religion tells me to. So Florida gets it and the QB controversy has no effect.
Dan (Chicago)

I'm going with Florida, because I want as many undefeated teams at the end of the year as possible. Screw the BCS!
John (Portland, Maine)

What else is on your mind, SportsNation?

73% Joe Girardi better fit for Cubs than Lou Piniella
72% Cowboys aren't using T.O. enough in the offense
71% A MLB team selling the rights to time of first pitch is fine

Wednesday's Big Questions

1. Is Drew Bledsoe safe in Dallas?
2. What else is going on in SportsNation?

Drew Bledsoe is under fire in Dallas.
Believe it or not, this has nothing to do with Terrell Owens. Well, that's not completely true. As Jeff Garcia and Donovan McNabb can attest, playing quarterback on a team with Terrell Owens is a sure way to end up on the hot seat, and it hasn't taken long for Drew Bledsoe to find his own warm perch.

Following a dismal performance against the Eagles, including throwing an interception that was returned 103 yards for a touchdown to clinch the win, Bledsoe has been the subject of much speculation. So should Bill Parcells bench the veteran in favor of Tony Romo? SportsNation voters say no; Parcells is right to stick by Bledsoe. That's the good news. The bad news is two-thirds of voters don't think the Cowboys can reach the Super Bowl with Bledsoe.

As for the coach? Maybe it's Parcells who is really on the hot seat. Only 35 percent of voters approve of the job he's doing.

67% Cowboys can't reach Super Bowl with Drew Bledsoe at quarterback
39% Bill Parcells is making a mistake sticking with Bledsoe at quarterback

89% Cowboys will beat the Texans in Week 6

I think even "He Who Shall Not Be Named" would agree McNabb is better than Bledsoe.
Jeff (Iowa)

Parcells should call up Jeff George.
JK (Indianapolis)

Do you understand who Tony Romo is? I could see if they had like a Matt Schaub or something, but you are not winning anything with Romo.
Greg (Boston)

They need to do something. I know Terry Glenn is good, but when you have a guy like "whatshisname" on your team, he has to be targeted more than he has been.
Tim (Indianapolis)

Bledsoe has routinely been a turnover magnet. Romo has experience under his belt ... sitting on the bench, watching QB's such as Quincy Carter, Chad Hutchinson, and now Drew Bledsoe do the thing they do the best: sucking at QB. I think it is time for Romo to get an opportunity to show what he's got; his years are fading away and he did look awfully good in the preseason. I say give it a shot.
Hob (Texas)

Of course, Bledsoe isn't the only quarterback worth talking about in the NFL these days. SportsNation voters have been sounding off on other signal-calling issues, good and bad.

73% Joey Harrington will start more of Miami's remaining 11 games than Daunte Culpepper

Which QB's performance has surprised you most this season?
63% Rex Grossman
16% Damon Huard
14% David Carr
7% Philip Rivers

What else is on your mind, SportsNation?

77% Even without injured WR Mario Manningham, Michigan will beat Penn St.
60% Alex Rodriguez will begin the 2007 season with the Yankees
56% NBA should listen to complaints and bring back the old basketball
51% St. Louis Cardinals have the most loyal fans of the four remaining teams

Tuesday's Big Questions

1. Will Jim Leyland's Tigers get past the Athletics?
2. Can the Cardinals stop the Mets in the NLCS?

Jim Leyland is the toast of Detroit.
When Jim Leyland took over the managerial duties for the Detroit Tigers in 2005 the team was 71-91. This season Leyland rode a bright young pitching staff and a potent offense to a 95-67 record. That's a 48-game turnaround.

Since everyone loves a comeback story, maybe that would explain why the majority of SportsNation says they want to see the Tigers hoist the World Championship trophy.

67% Tigers will beat the A's to reach the World Series

67% Rooting for Tigers to win the ALCS

67% Tigers have the edge in starting pitching
53% Trust Huston Street more than Todd Jones to close games

57% Frank Thomas will have better ALCS than Magglio Ordonez
54% Tigers have the edge on defense

Why is it that nobody gives the Tigers credit? I remember when the Pistons won the NBA championship and all they talked about was the break-up of the Lakers! Now with the Tigers all they talk about is the Yanks break-up!
Billy (Michigan)

Thank you Tigers, you made up for those other Tigers I was rooting for.
Joe (Huntsville, Ala.)

Amazin' Mets and Motown Tigers: The best in each league all year continue their runs.
LJ (Dayton)

I see STL-DET, and Stern pranking Selig and just laughing at the TV ratings.
Jeremy (Boston)

I can't imagine Fox is too happy with an Oakland vs. Detroit matchup in the ALCS. Not exactly tapping huge markets here.
Brian (Brooklyn)

Albert Pujols shines in October.
While the Tigers have captured the hearts of fans in the American League, the national league picture isn't so clear. While all the ESPN.com baseball experts picked the Mets to defeat the Cardinals, only a slight majority of SportsNation is predicting a Mets victory while a slightly larger percentage wants to see the Cardinals head to the World Series.

If the SportsNation voting is any indication, it will be a close series as the Cardinals only have a slight edge in starting pitching, defense and managing.

51% Mets will beat the Cardinals to reach the World Series

58% Rooting for Cardinals to win the NLCS

59% Cardinals have the edge in starting pitching
74% Trust Billy Wagner more than Adam Wainwright to close games

65% Rather have Tony La Russa than Willie Randolph calling the shots
55% Cardinals have the edge on defense

Monday's Big Questions

1. When will the Bears lose a game?
2. Should the Yankees fire Joe Torre?

Rex Grossman (8) and the Bears are running all over opponenets.
The Chicago Bears continued steamrolling every team in their path over the weekend, putting a 40-7 whipping on the Buffalo Bills and improving their record to 5-0 for the first time since 1986.

The Bears have now drubbed their opponents by a combined score of 156-36 and don't face a team that currently has a winning record until a Nov. 26 trip to New England. How long can they remain unbeaten? Well, a majority of SportsNation says Chicago will win at least its next five games and enter that showdown with the Patriots at 10-0.

As for the other big issues to come out of the weekend, SN is rather sure the Dolphins and Steelers are already finished and many were shocked by the Colts struggling against the Titans, but the 'Nation is split on whether Drew Bledsoe should remain under center for the Cowboys.

When will the Bears lose a game?
58% The Bears will make it to 10-0
32% Week 10 at NY Giants
4% Week 6 at Arizona
3% Week 9 vs. Miami
2% Week 8 vs. San Francisco
1% Week 11 at NY Jets

Here's a summary of what else SportsNation was talking about after another NFL Sunday:

98% Miami Dolphins will not make the playoffs this season
87% Pittsburgh Steelers will not make the playoffs this season
78% Colts over Titans, 14-13, more surprising than Jags over Jets, 41-0
50% Dallas Cowboys should replace Drew Bledsoe with Tony Romo

Is Joe Torre on his way out of New York?
After the Yankees collapsed and were ousted from the playoffs by the Detroit Tigers, you knew it wouldn't be long before owner George Steinbrenner started firing off statements questioning his team and its manager and calling the season a dissapointment.

You were right. The Boss issued a statement less than a day after his team was eliminated, saying the outcome is a "sad failure", that he is "deeply disappointed" and that "the result is absolutely unacceptable". As a result of the loss to Detroit, Steinbrenner is said to be keen on firing manager Joe Torre, winner of nine straight American League East titles and more than 1,000 games in New York.

Should Torre go? SportsNation responds with a resounding "No". A full three-fourths of voters do not think the Yankees should send their stoic manager packing, even in the wake of three straight ALDS losses.

As for the Tigers, SN is solidly behind the team from Motown with more than half of 'Nation citizens rooting for Detroit to win the World Series.

Should the Yankees fire Joe Torre?
75% No
25% Yes

Which team do you want to win the World Series
52% Detroit Tigers
82% New York Mets
87% Oakland A's
81% St. Louis Cardinals

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